Writing a novel

Writing a novel for the first time as any author will tell you can be extremely challenging and daunting. The toughest part is often knowing where to start, and also how to keep going all the way to the end. However, thinking about the novel and the writing process from the onset will only add to your anxiety about the process. The key for many is organisation, organising yourself, your time, your ideas and the plot. If you are embarking upon the process of writing a novel for the first time, below you will find 6 useful steps that may help breakdown the process for you during this journey.

Use your natural creativity

Creativity is one the most important elements of being an author. However, there will be times when you may find it difficult to think, or transfer your thoughts to paper. Writers block can vary depending on the person. It is important to know how your brain works, what environmental conditions and state of mind enable you to be at your most free thinking and creative state. Understanding this prior to writing a novel will help greatly.

Organise yourself

Organisation is a quality which is almost universally important in a wide variety of tasks and jobs. When writing a novel this will be important in two aspects. Firstly, writing is a gradual process and should not be rushed at the same time you want to manage your time effectively. So learning how to make the most of your time will be important. You should aim to establish a routine which you can follow and set a certain number of hours that you wish to devote to writing per day.


Many people will plan to write a novel, however will abandon writing a novel half way through. This is often because people tend to throw everything at the process early on and run out of energy and enthusiasm. Therefore, it will be important to pace yourself and to breakdown how much you intend to write each day.

Create the characters

There are two elements to this steps. Firstly, you should create a broad list of all the characters involved, everyone from the leading characters to those who only have a passing role. Secondly, you should write profiles for each so you have an idea of the kind of people they will be, this will help you to keep the characters consistent throughout.

Write the plot or a synopsis

Write a brief synopsis a couple of pages long, including a list of scenes and key events. You should focus on details such as: What happens? Which point of view is each scene being expressed from? Key conflict and tension points? Although these will be subject to change it will be useful in giving you a broad outline. You will also be able to see if the story flows well and where you may need to make changes.

Writing the novel

This may or may not be the most difficult part for you. However, as you will have broken down the stages and developed an idea in your mind of the story you wish to tell this should be easier to get through.

Edit and proofread

Once you have written your first draft, an important element will be to edit and proofread your writing. It is unlikely that you will be perfectly happy with it straight away and you may want to make changes. Take time to read and edit your writing, as making changes will be just as important as the writing itself. Once you are happy, proofreading your writing for grammatical errors will help to polish your work so that it stands the best chance of attracting potential publishers.

Obtain an instant quote for our proofreading service

At Express Proofreading we offer a professional proofreading service for authors. We are able to ensure that your novel is not only free from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, but we will also check syntax and sentence structure to give you added peace of mind.

To obtain an instant quote for us to proofread your novel, click the Instant Quote button below. Upload your document and our Quote Generator will calculate an instant quote based upon the word count of your novel. Once you are happy with your quote, you can then click Place Order and proceed to our secure checkout page.